THE SORROWS OF SATAN
A MUSICAL PLAY BY LUKE BATEMAN & MICHAEL CONLEY
Inspired by the novel by Marie Correlli
Please find below synopsis, script and demo recordings featuring LUKE BATEMAN, STEFAN BEDNARCZYK, DAISY CHUTE/CLAIRE-MARIE HALL and MICHAEL CONLEY,
SETTING: An opulent top-floor drawing room high above the streets of Belgravia.
ACT I: The play begins when penniless playwright GEOFFREY TEMPEST, inarguably out of his depth, enters the grand room to prepare for a backer’s audition of his newest piece, THE SORROWS OF SATAN; or GEOFFREY TEMPEST’S FAUST: A MUSICAL PLAY BY GEOFFREY TEMPEST. AMIEL, the mute pianist, arrives and they rehearse the opening number (SONG: SATAN IS SO SORROWFUL). Unfortunately, it’s not as good as Geoffrey thinks it is.
The beautiful but aloof LADY SIBYL ELTON, the object of Geoffrey’s unrealistic affections, enters and rehearses her first number (SONG: I AM UNATTAINABLE), which sounds very much like the previous song.
PRINCE LUCIO RIMAÑEZ, Geoffrey’s devilishly handsome patron, introduces himself and brings news that the two men who were meant to join Sibyl in the evening’s performance have died (one fell from the roof of Claridges and the other died when the first one fell on him). Geoffrey volunteers to perform the part of Faust as Lucio offers to play the role of Satan. To prove his talent he sings Satan’s first number (SONG: FAUST YOU FOOL HAVE SUMMONED ME), which sounds very much like the previous two.
Sibyl joins Amiel at the piano to rehearse her next song, which has a by-now-familiar melody (SONG: SATAN SOUNDS SO SENSIBLE) as Lucio advises Geoffrey that THE SORROWS OF SATAN could be a huge hit were Geoffrey willing to accept his suggestions for small improvements. Geoffrey admits that he would sell his soul in exchange for fame, wealth and the love of Sybil. When Sybil re-joins them Geoffrey discovers that she is a fan of MAVIS CLARE, a woman he detests because she has attained the popular success that eludes him. Back to rehearsing, Geoffrey sings the song where Faust considers Satan’s offer (SONG: ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE). That all the songs till now sound exactly alike has not gone unnoticed.
Lucio excuses himself and it becomes clear (to us, not Geoffrey) that Sybil has set her sights on Lucio. Obliviously thinking he is making headway with his advances, Geoffrey asks Sybil to rehearse the song where her character and Faust fall in love (SONG: I COULD NOT BE HAPPIER). Luckily Lucio interrupts the song to present Geoffrey with a Savile Row suit. When Geoffrey leaves, Lucio rehearses a ‘new’ song. To Sybil’s (and our) surprise it is up-tempo, fun and a bit risqué, which is to say it sounds nothing like the previous ones (SONG: TARTARUS). Geoffrey enters as the song ends.
When Geoffrey sees that the sheet music has the words and music attributed to him he calmly walks over to a bin and vomits. Sybil excuses herself as Lucio tries to convinve Geoffrey to accept his help to make the show a hit. Lucio has written 'Tartarus' and gives it to Geoffrey. Sibyl returns as Lucio asks Geoffrey to sing the Act I Finale (SONG: SATAN IS SO SORROWFUL (REPRISE)), which Lucio thankfully stops. Geoffrey should try ‘the new one’. Resigned, Geoffrey joins Amiel to learn the new song he’s allegedly written. Alone at last, Sybil offers herself to Lucio only to be brutally rebuffed. All three perform the new opening number (SONG: ALL ABOUT SIN).
Deciding that he cannot compromise his artistic integrity, Geoffrey decides to leave but not before confessing his affection for Sibyl. When she (of course) rejects him, Lucio tells her that he has promised Geoffrey fame and wealth, which he can guarantee, but he has also promised him her love. When she says she could never love Geoffrey Lucio picks her up and throws her out of the window to her death.
ACT II: With the action frozen from the end of Act I, Amiel, the mute pianist, takes the opportunity to tell his story (SONG: NOW I’M HERE).
We return to the action as we hear Sibyl scream and hit the ground. Lucio is unrepentant as Geoffrey despairs, surely they must cancel the performance, when there is a knock at the door. MAVIS CLARE, a beautiful, confident and kind woman, (played by the same actress as Sibyl) enters. Invited as a guest to the backer’s audition, she gets roped into playing Sibyl’s part. When Lucio exits, she asks to hear one of her character songs, Geoffrey begins to teach her one (SONG: I AM UNATTAINABLE (REPRISE)) until he realises all his songs really do sound the same. Lucio re-enters with a replacement song for Mavis, another ‘new’ number (SONG: A WOMAN NEEDS A MAN).
As a result of the new song’s blatant misogyny (and overt commerciality), Geoffrey vomits once more and Mavis tries to educate Lucio in sexual politics but rehearse they must. He presents Geoffrey with another ‘new’ song that eerily mirrors Geoffrey’s own thoughts (SONG: TOUGH DECISION).
About to vomit a third time, Geoffrey excuses himself as Lucio and Mavis rehearse their scene. Lines are blurred as the script begins to write itself and Mavis comes to the realisation that Lucio is in fact the devil (SONG: MAVIS).
When Geoffrey returns Mavis tries to convince him of Lucio’s evil nature and warns him to leave and never return. Obviously Geoffrey refuses and Lucio poses the same question to Mavis that he did to Sibyl. When she says she could never love Geoffrey Lucio picks her up and throws her out of the window to her death.
Seeing Lucio for what he is, Geoffrey asks for the details of his deal with the devil. Lucio explains that once Geoffrey opens the door to greet his guests, his soul will belong to Lucio. Geoffrey is convinced that he has the upper hand: Lucio promised him he would her the words ‘I love you’ from Sibyl’s lips. Even though Mavis had the exact same lips they both died without proclaiming their love. Of course, there is a knock at the door and THE ACTRESS enters (played once again by the same actress as Sibyl/Mavis) and wastes no time in telling Geoffrey she loves him. Amiel joins Geoffrey, Lucio and The Actress is singing the finale (SONG: ALL ABOUT SIN (REPRISE)). Geoffrey accepts his fate and greets his guests.